Who we are - Red Ladder Theatre Company

Red Ladder Theatre Company

Who we are

Want to get to know us a bit better? Take a couple of minutes to watch our short film, ‘We Are Red Ladder’. This is what we’re about; the power of theatre – in our communities, for everyone.

Red Ladder is a radical theatre company with 50 years of history. The company is acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies producing new theatre, contributing to social change and global justice.  Red Ladder is funded by Arts Council England and by Leeds City Council.

Founded in 1968 in London, the company has a colourful history rooted in the radical socialist theatre movement in Britain known as agitprop. Born into an era of riots, demonstrations and revolts, Red Ladder has grown up, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century, where it continues to fight, to entertain, and to agitate in as equal measures as possible.

Red Ladder exists to create theatre about and around human struggle.  Our work is galvanising and stimulating; generous and life-affirming ; collaborative and visionary ; fearless;  of and for many people. We help people make sense of the world and understand the power that they and their communities have to change it. To find out what you can do, come and see one of our performances, enrol on our actor training course, or become a Red Ladder supporter.

We seek to redefine and reclaim notions of popular, political and radical in a theatre context, and place politics and accessibility as twin and complementary facets of a people’s theatre.  We use our unique history as a leadership resource for theatre and theatre-makers seeking contemporary forms which speak to the politics of the now.  “When the best leaders’ work is done the people shall say ‘We did it ourselves’” Lao Tzu

Our work tours nationally and also we have curated a local circuit of non-theatre spaces such as working men’s clubs, sports and socials and some community spaces.

Are you a company planning on touring to non-traditional theatre spaces? We have published a ‘how to’ guide for companies wising to create their own local touring circuit here.